By reading the De Interpretatione closely and in order, we see that the work is not a series of detached episodes but a coherent whole, dedicated to the study of contradictory pairs of assertions. The treatise begins by discussing the necessary preliminaries, including the name, verb, and assertion (Chs. 1 to 6), before moving on to examine contradictory pairs of many kinds, including three classes in which RCP (the rule that one member is always true and the other false) is violated (Chs. 7 to 9). The study of contradiction in the De Interpretatione is central to dialectic, establishing the limits beyond which dialectical question and answer must not go, showing how to arrange assertions into their correct contradictory pairs, and finally proving why it is that contradiction underpins refutation, the goal of all dialectical argument.
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